It’s the first thing you realize as soon as your first order of cardstock arrives: how should I store this?
We’ve got you covered. It’s easy to extend the life of your cardstock and get the most out of your investment in materials. Let’s dig into seven things to consider so that you can choose the very best storage solutions for your crafting space.
1 . Store your cardstock away from sunlight.
We work hard to make sure one pack of cardstock is always consistent in color and texture with all other packs of the same style. However, when your cardstock is stored in sunlight, it can fade pretty quickly. Direct sunlight is the most harmful, but even indirect sunlight can cause your cardstock to fade.
Search your favorite home stores and websites for organizational solutions that block out sunlight: cabinets, standing closets, dark envelopes, covered storage containers, lockers, cubbyholes, etc. If you choose to store your cardstock on a shelf so you can see all of it at once, consider positioning it in a part of your crafting space that doesn’t face any windows.
We’ve seen some creative anti-sunlight solutions before:
Some folks move their cardstock shelf into a hallway to keep it out of the sun.
Some storage systems will fit into an unused guest room closet or linen closet.
We’ve seen cardstock stored in hanging file folders inside a dedicated filing cabinet.
We’ve also seen an antique dresser used as cardstock storage furniture, with the packs laid flat inside the drawers.
You can hang blackout curtains on the windows, or even just one blackout curtain on a tension rod in front of your cardstock storage solution. This should keep most sunlight away from your cardstock.
Many finished basements are windowless, which make them suitable locations to store cardstock, although you’ll need to consider our second tip…
2. Moisture is no friend to cardstock!
It seems obvious, but it’s easy to forget when choosing a storage location for your cardstock: you don’t want water anywhere near it! Moisture can alter the appearance of cardstock or cause it to warp; more importantly, it can encourage mold or bacteria, which can spread from pack to pack.
Some steps you can take to keep moisture at bay:
You may want to invest in a dehumidifier, especially if you have an old home or steam heating, or if you’re storing your cardstock in a basement or any room with a washing machine or steamer. If you have an open floor plan in your home, consider what measures you might need to take to prevent moisture from building up whenever you boil water on the stove. Additionally, as many of the rooms in our living spaces have been redesigned since 2020 as multi-purpose spaces, we feel it’s necessary to point out that storing cardstock in any room that contains a bath or shower is not recommended.
Be sure that the room in which you store your cardstock is well-ventilated. If your home uses central heating and air, check the manufacturer’s guidelines for how often your filters should be changed, and follow their instructions.
Ensure that children and pets will not accidentally introduce liquids into your storage area. If the cardstock is stored on a low shelf in your kitchen, the little ones might spill their juice on it, so it’s probably best to choose another room or a higher cabinet that’s out of their reach.
Of course, a dedicated piece of furniture, a closet, or any other enclosed storage solution will go a long way towards preventing the accumulation of moisture.
Often, when we purchase shoes, some food items, and many other household items, the manufacturer sends it with a silicone packet to discourage moisture. We have heard of folks who save these and add them to their cardstock storage solutions. If you choose this method, be sure to keep the packets well out of reach of children and animals and to follow the safety advice printed on the packet.
If you’re really focused on discouraging moisture, we have also heard of folks who keep their cardstock packs in oversized zip-lock bags hung from hangers in a closet. As these bags can be pretty thoroughly sealed, this solution will likely keep the cardstock very dry.
3. Like Thanksgiving, it’s all about the sides.
It’s a mistake many of us make when we first start working with cardstock: many storage solutions are sized to almost the exact size of our cardstock packs, meaning the sides of the cardstock can become warped and bent as we pull cardstock in and out!
Always make sure your cardstock can be easily removed and replaced from its storage location without damaging the sides.
Storing cardstock flat makes it easier to protect the sides; cardstock can be safely stored on its end, but it must be done with care.
Consider the materials used to make your cardstock storage system: wood, particle board, plastic, etc. will be gentle on cardstock edges, whereas wire and some metal may not be. It will all depend on your cardstock use, the specific needs of your space, and the gentle care you take as you remove and replace the cardstock.
Some folks like to use disposable gloves to handle the cardstock. This can become an expensive approach, not to mention a less-than-eco-friendly one, but in moderation, it can really preserve the life of your cardstock. (Bonus: gloves prevent the transfer of oils from your hands as well!)
Some people prefer to store their cardstock in the pack; some out. Either way, we hope you’ll choose the approach that best protects the edges of your cardstock based on the way you tend to handle it.
If you’re cramming multiple packs of cardstock into a space that’s too small to fit them, you should at least expect some damage to the edges. This approach isn’t recommended!
4. Make sure you can see all of your cardstock!
This doesn’t mean that you should be able to see a rainbow of cardstock with one glance at your shelf. In fact, if you’re being very careful to avoid moisture and sunlight, it’s possible that your cardstock will all be stored in small separated spaces. There are, of course, solutions:
If you’ve eliminated sunlight and moisture from the room, then open shelves might actually work for you.
If you’re storing your cardstock in drawers, filing cabinets, lidded boxes, etc, then consider attaching a photo of the contents of each one to the outside so you can see them all at a quick glance. Alternately, cards with the names of the contents of each box affixed to the outside can produce a similar effect.
This is hardly an exhaustive list.
You’ll need to figure out what works best for you, but also, we hope these guidelines help you make great choices. Got a recommendation for us on cardstock storage? Let us know here!